2010 fading in Army's rearview mirror
Last season was a banner year for Army, which swept archrival Navy, captured the Patriot League Tournament title, and upset 2008 and 2009 national champion Syracuse in the first round.
Coach Joe Alberici was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take” and a number of radio shows, and the Black Knights’ double overtime victory over the Orange was named by Inside Lacrosse as the Upset of the Year.
But Alberici, speaking on a conference call involving Patriot League coaches Wednesday morning, insisted that the coaches and players aren’t living in the past.
“We know who we are,” he said. “We’re not that team that upset Syracuse there. We’re a team that’s got to kick, scratch, play togther, and fight for everything to win any game on our schedule. That’s where we’re at. I feel like the message is resonating.”
*Senior attackman Jeremy Boltus and senior defenseman Bill Henderson, the Patriot League’s respective preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, have returned after undergoing procedures in the offseason. Henderson had surgery on his wrist, while shoulder problems forced Boltus under the knife. “Both of those guys are back,” Alberici said. “They each had surgery in the offseason, planned surgeries. We knew Billy’s was going to take a little bit longer to heal, so we got that done in August, and he’s back at 100 percent. I’ve been quite impressed with him with his ability to be playing at the level he’s playing at this quickly after being out all fall. He’s doing a great job. And Jeremy played the whole season last year with some shoulder issues, and we just elected to get some stuff done, to alleviate some pain for him in the offseason. Both of those guys are 100 percent right now.”
*Army has been picked by the league’s coaches and sports information directors as the favorite to repeat as conference champion, but Alberici is wary about overlooking the team’s rivals. “I don’t know that we’re all that much more talented than those teams in the league,” he said. “I don’t think there’s much difference at all one way or another. So I’m not going to bring that to our team and say, ‘Hey, we’re defending [champs].’ It’s just preseason, and going along with what I said in the beginning, it’s a little matter to my staff and/or our team. It’s about going about your business the right way, working your tail off, playing the game the right way, and if we can do that in each and every game, the score and all that, that will just take care of itself.”